Concordia University, St. Paul director of athletics Tom Rubbelke has announced the hiring of Joey James as the ninth head men's basketball coach for the Golden Bears.
James spent last season as interim head coach at the University of South Dakota where he had been an assistant for 11 seasons prior to his interim appointment. James also played for the Coyotes from 1997-99.
"This is an exciting day for Concordia basketball, our campus community and the Twin Cities basketball scene," said Rubbelke. "Joey possesses the character, commitment, desire and basketball acumen to take Golden Bear basketball to a championship level. We are ecstatic to land a coach of Joey's caliber and are looking towards a bright future with him on the sidelines."
"I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the men's basketball program at Concordia University," said James. "I would like to thank Tom and the search committee for believing in me and having the confidence in me as their men's basketball coach. My staff and I will work extremely hard to make Concordia a program that competes every night in the highly competitive NSIC. I'm eager to get started and look forward to the challenges of building a championship caliber program on and off the court."
While James joins Concordia after serving as a Division I head coach at USD, he also has a strong Division II background prior to the Coyotes making the jump. In his first five seasons as a USD assistant, the Coyotes reached the NCAA Division II Tournament. In his 12 total seasons as a USD coach, the program produced a 225-137 (.622) record as James was involved in all aspects of USD basketball. He also helped lead the team to seven-straight 20-plus win along with two conference championships.
The Bellevue, Neb. native averaged 24 points per game as a prep at Bellevue West High School before attending Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs. He averaged 15 points as a sophomore and transferred to South Dakota. He averaged eight points as a junior in his first year with the Coyotes, leading the team to a 19-8 season. During James' senior season, South Dakota finished 23-7, won the North Central Conference championship and reached the NCAA Tournament.
James graduated from South Dakota in 2001 with a degree in recreational science. He earned his master's degree in athletic administration from USD in 2003.
James and his wife, Jena, have a son, Jaylen (12), and two daughters, Jayci (8) and Jayna (7).